Today I was very saddened to see the Elmore's place for sale up near our house in the Catskills. That's because we knew the Elmore's and played with all their children. Gerry Elmore, Sharon Elmore, Debbie Elmore, Carol Elmore, Charlie Elmore, Sandy Elmore, and I'm sure more kids that I just can't remember. Last year Gerry Elmore passed away and I heard his parents did as well. Gerry Elmore was about my age, and we played many times right in the middle of the Hollow because of the lack of people driving back then. Yeah, sitting in the hot sun of a Summer's day back in 1969, and dreaming about what the future would be like. Just kids being kids.
The Hollow will no longer be the same without the Elmore's living there. But hey, I guess that's life.
The trailer comes with an old "Dilapidated" house according to the real estate listing. Well, I spent much time in that old house along with my cousin Pete. I remember Mrs. Elmore making us lunch there while we were visiting all the kids like it was yesterday. Chicken salad on white bread and a bowl of split pea soup. Oh well, I guess memories get sharper as you get older.
The Elmore's of Huntley Hollow...
For as long as I have been alive this has always been the “Elmore’s” house up on Huntley Hollow Road in the Northern Catskills. And usually on the last mile or so of our 150-mile trip from Kensington, Brooklyn, my Grandfather Paco would always beep the horn of our “given” station wagon. That’s because either Charlie Elmore or Mrs. Elmore would usually be sitting outside their house alongside that old dirt road, and of course they would always wave right back. You see back in the 60’s there weren’t that many people living on Huntley Hollow, and waving to your neighbors was just what folks did back then, even if they lived three miles down the road, and even if you were from the City.
The Elmore's were very hard working people too, highway men, blue stone quarry men and loggers. I also know they were good hunters and fishermen as well. Just living in the mountains and living off the land, just like the settlers before them did in the house they lived in. An old wooden house that usually had a small lamp on late at night, a "beacon" for us sometimes when we made those late night trips up to Downsville. When we saw the Elmore's house we knew our trip was almost complete.
Yeah, there were the “Morvinsky’s, the Elmore’s, Junie Mills, “Crazy Bill Bart”, the Keators, the Laidlaws, the Newberts, and then us the Lopez family. And everyone knew each other and everyone waved when they drove by each other’s houses. A far cry from today when I’m sure there are more than thirty houses on the Hollow, and not as much waving as the 1960’s.
But hey, even today I still give a wave to folks living on Huntley Hollow. Even if they no longer live there anymore, and even if they never wave back.